Qatar drops coronavirus restrictions just before World Cup
Updated: 2020-05-27 12:26 By Wu Ming and Tomi Petesen
By JOSEPH CELAYA – TEGUCIGALPA TIMES
Qatar has officially dropped its health measures ahead of the World Cup in June after the coronavirus pandemic dramatically impacted the country’s economy, it said Thursday.
Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Sports, Youth, Culture and Sports said it was a “small sacrifice” for the Qataris to be able to compete at the World Cup without being subject to strict measures, including physical distancing and wearing face coverings.
Qatar has been the most successful of the Gulf states at hosting major sporting events, with five editions of the World Cup and three editions of the Asian Cup.
The coronavirus has caused shortages of personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles and gloves.
It has also disrupted the global sporting calendar with just two months to go until the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for more protective clothing, such as the N95 masks, which can prevent transmission of the virus in hospitals.
WHO on Thursday called for all countries to be prepared with protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves to provide to health care workers and their relatives, and for health workers to be given access to protective equipment and training if necessary, it said in a statement.
“Countries and global health partners should plan for the need to provide health workers with protective equipment and other resources and for health workers to have access to protective equipment and training if needed,” it said.
World Cup organizer FIFA said it was continuing to monitor travel and sport security across all participating countries and territories as well as the impact on stadiums, and that it was monitoring developments and implementing contingency plans.
The World Cup has yet to be officially notified by the U.S. government but a preliminary notification was submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade